Kazoku to Tomodachi, July 10, 2014
Konichiwa! Genki desu ka? This week has been pretty great. Itsumo subarashikatta.
Real quick, sorry if you haven't been getting my emails for whatever reason. I guess something happened, and my group list thing got messed up, but hopefully I fixed it. :) I promise I love you all and didn't want to make you feel left out.
Okay, so on Friday it was the 4th of July. :) Being at the MTC we have a very scheduled life, and don't have a lot of time for extra things. Luckily though, we got to have a special fireside. After the fireside they (the MTC Presidency) surprised us with a movie. We got to watch 17 Miracles (a movie about the pioneers). It was so good! By the time it was over, it was already 10:10 (almost time for us to be in bed)! They however told us that we could go outside, eat ice cream and watch the fireworks. :) It was awesome. There were fireworks at the BYU Stadium, so they were just behind the MTC. :) They ended at 10:45, and then we headed back to our residence and got ready for bed. By the time we finally got to sleep, it was an hour later then normal. We were all so tired when we woke up! Who knew one hour of sleep could make such a difference???
One of the cool experiences that I had this week was while we were extending a challenge to our shimaitachi. As STL (sister training leaders) Eyring Shimai and I get to interview the shimaitachi maishu (every week). We like to extend a challenge at the end of our interviews. It is always something that will help us all to become more Christ-like, or to recognize the blessings in our lives. Well, over the week I had noticed how impatient I was getting with myself and especially with others. Little things were really starting to bug me. As I payed attention to the shimaitachi, I realized that they had been struggling with the same thing. I then felt prompted to challenge them to something that would help them to be more patient. I wasn't sure that it was something that everyone needed, but I felt like it was what we needed our challenge to be based on. Eyring Shimai and I decided that every time someone was doing something that was bothering them, that they needed to think about something they really liked about that person. Something they were really good at, and if they felt so inclined, tell the person what they liked about them/ what they were good at. That way it not only helped them to think more positively about the other person, but the other person was uplifted as well. As we were telling the sisters about our challenge, each of them talked about how that was something that they were challenging themselves to work on as well, and that because we had challenged them, they knew they would be more committed to keeping their challenge/goal. :) I knew that Heavenly Father had blessed me to know the needs of the shimaitachi, and I was so grateful that we were able to help them.
Within the last week we have had so many devotionals with such wonderful speakers! I wish I had time to tell you about them all! Sunday morning we had Mission Conference, then Sunday night we had a devotional with Josh Wright (a phenomenal pianist). Then Tuesday night we had a devotional with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles! We are so blessed here at the MTC to hear from such wonderful speakers. The MTC truly is the best! :)
One of the things that was talked about in Mission Conference was an announcement from the First Presidency. As missionaries, we used to only focus on finding, teaching, and baptizing, and then the wards/branches were in charge of retaining and activating. Well, now we are privileged to not only find, teach, and baptize, but also retain the new members, and reactivate those who have fallen away. :) As part of that the missionaries reteach the lessons to the newly baptized members over a 3-4 month period, and then stay in contact with the converts for a year. It's pretty exciting, and I can't wait to get started. Imagine how much the church will grow and be strengthened. In some parts of the world there are wards with 300 active members, and about 800 inactive members! Imagine how many peoples lives would be blessed if those 800 came back to church. I love that Heavenly Father knows each of his children, and he cares about them so much, No one is ever forgotten. It truly is amazing, and I know that this will help Him bring his children back to Him. What an amazing time it is to be a missionary!
Let's see... I'm almost out of time. One of the cool things we got to do this week was skype TRC. We got to skype with Nihonjin members living in various different parts of the world. We taught a man named Taguchi Kyodai. We shared with him a message about Service and Missionary Work. We started out by sharing a scripture in Mosiah that says "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." As we shared that scripture with him, he told us that it touched his heart and brought tears to his eyes. We were able to talk about the blessings of Service and Missionary Work, and hopefully help to strengthen his testimony. :) He was so sweet, and I loved being able to teach him. :)
Well, I think that is about it for this week. I love you all! You are the best! I love hearing from you!